Boys basketball preview: Warriors launch home opener against Meadowdale Saturday

Travis Bakken, shown here in 2012, is expected to be a key contributor for the Warriors this year. (Photo by Char Blankenship)

Travis Bakken, shown here in 2012, is expected to be a key contributor for the Warriors this year. (Photo by Char Blankenship)

The 2013 Edmonds-Woodway High School Boys basketball team started play this week. After a 62-56 non-league loss to Mountlake Terrace Tuesday, the Warriors will meet rival Meadowdale this Saturday in the Warriors’ gym.

The squad features five returning letterman, four of them seniors. Wesco first team center Travis Bakken is back for his fourth year on varsity and second team Wesco guard Jason Smarr begins his third varsity season. Also back are Theo Lebesis, Ibro Polovina and Tate Budnick. Last year’s team, which graduated four seniors, finished 15-9, with their season ending in the winner-to-district game against Mount Vernon. Gone from that team are Devon Joseph, Brad Rice, Luke Langdale, Henry Olson and Alex Hull. In their place are sophmores Brady Edwards and Jordan Rice, who along with junior Kelvin Dankwa are moving up from junior varsity. Senior Antonio Sherrill and freshman Trey Holland round out the team.

Coach Steve Call has high praise for Sherrill, who is joining the team after a two-year hiatus, and Holland, a rare freshman going straight to varsity.

Call begins his third year coaching the boys and is optimistic about this year’s team, “ We have five seniors, all who we expect to heavily contribute,” he said. “Four of them played football, so we know we won’t get pushed around.”

Call said he expects big things from both Bakken and Smarr, the two leading scorers from the year before. “Travis has improved his footwork , is really tough down low, and Jason, well he is just a scorer,” he said. The Warriors coach also expressed confidence in the team’s younger players, saying, “the young guards, they play with a lot of confidence.” Call says the group is also “tremendously encouraging to each other.”

South Division opponent Jackson High figures to be the favorite to repeat as they return all but one player from last years team that went 25-1, their lone loss in the state title game. State Player of the Year Jason Todd is back for his senior season to lead the T-Wolves.  Also expected to improve is Cascade. Of Jackson, Call says, “they are obviously the favorite, but we played them close last year, so I like our chances.”

Scheduling highlights include Saturday’s “rubber chicken” rivalry vs. Meadowdale, home-and-home with Jackson, and the always tough games in the Bothell Holiday tournament. Here’s the schedule, most games begin at 7:15 p.m.:

Dec 3 @Mountlake Terrace (L 56-64)

Dec 7 Meadowdale (7 p.m.) Broadcast on the Sound Live Sports Network

Dec 13 @Jackson

Dec 17 Lynnwood

Dec 20 @Mariner

Dec 27 Bothell Holiday Classic

Dec 28 Bothell Holiday Classic

Dec 30 Bothell Holiday Classic

Jan 2 Kamiak

Jan 4 @ Cascade

Jan 9 Arlington Broadcast on the Sound Live Sports Network

Jan 14 @Snohomish

Jan 16 Mount Vernon

Jan 17 Lake Stevens

Jan 21 @Monroe

Jan 24 Jackson

Jan 28 @Lynnwood Broadcast on the Sound Live Sports Network

Jan 31 Mariner

Feb 4 @Kamiak

Feb 6 Cascade

Postseason to follow if qualified. Those games will also be broadcast on the Sound Live Sports Network.

– By Jeff Smarr

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